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Local News

  • School board reduces raises

    Though it had hoped to give teachers a 5.8 percent raise next year, the Bedford County School Board will likely cut raises to 4 percent or less next week when it finalizes the school budget.

    In a work session last Thursday, the school board debated how to balance the budget numbers it received from the Bedford County Board of Supervisors which came in some $2.1 million less than requested. Much of that difference will likely be saved by cutting the proposed raises.

  • County landfill expands

    Monday night, the Bedford County Board of Supervisors approved $97,000 for engineering services to prepare for a 10.1 acre expansion of the county?s landfill. This follows a lengthy process that the county had to go through to get a state Department of Environmental Quality permit to do this.

    In a phone interview prior to the meeting, Sheldon Cash, the county?s solid waste manager, said that this will be the first area added to the landfill since 1998 when a new 8-acre section was opened. The landfill currently covers 14 acres.

  • Supervisors make cuts before adopting budget

    The Bedford County Board of Supervisors meeting to adopt the county?s budget began with a 5 p.m. work session and bad news.

    County Administrator Kathleen Guzi told the supervisors that the amount of money that the county will get from the Commonwealth has been reduced by $311,000. What?s worse is that this is an estimate that may be revised as late as Aug. 1.

  • Dual appointments

    It?s rare for two brothers to receive appointments to the same service academy at the same time, but it happened to two brothers from Forest this year.

    Congressman Bob Goodlatte?s office announced recently that Geoff and Josh Ranowsky have both received appointments to West Point. It?s the first time Goodlatte has ever done this.

    Josh Ranowsky, now a senior at Jefferson Forest High School (JFHS), said that this became possible because a recent Goodlatte appointee left the military academy, opening an extra slot for the 6th District Congressman.

  • Local surgeon shares his skills in Ghana

    Dr. John Kerr, a general surgeon at Bedford Memorial Hospital, frequently puts his medical specialty to work on short-term mission trips.

    Kerr, a member of Thaxton Baptist Church, has made 10 trips to Ghana in the last 15 years to do surgery at a hospital in a rural area. The hospital is run under the auspices of the Southern Baptist Convention and Dr. Kerr fills in to give the regular surgeon a break.

  • Speakers focus on school funding

    School spending was on the public's mind as Bedford County's supervisors held a public hearing on the county's budget for the 2008-2009 fiscal year.

    The hearing took place at Bedford Science and Technology Center's Susie Gibson Auditorium with several dozen people in attendance. The applause that followed speakers calling for more school spending indicated that this issue brought many to the hearing.

  • Newman will continue to seek end to annexation

    Funding for Bedford's city reservoir improvements as well as an end to annexation were among the topics discussed when the Bedford area's General Assembly delegation briefed Chamber of Commerce members on the past legislative session at a breakfast last week.

    State Senator Steve Newman led the presentation. Newman was elected as chairman of the Senate's Republican caucus.

    "There were a lot of cats to be herded," Newman commented, describing his job.

  • Saving the red barn

    There is a consensus in the county to save the red barn near the county nursing home. Exactly what to do, and how to use it, remains a question.

    Long before Bedford County had a nursing home, it had a poor house. In fact, Falling Creek Road's original name was Poor House Road, a name which many long-time county residents still use to refer to it. The poor house dates back to the mid-19th century.

    "Bedford County was on the cutting edge of taking care of indigent people in the 1850s," commented Betty Gereau, of the Bedford Historical Society.

  • Democratic congressional hopeful visits Bedford

    Tom Perriello, the Democrat seeking the 5th Congressional District seat held by Republican Virgil Goode, stopped by the Gingerbread Caf?onday on a tour though the district.

    Perriello said that two areas at the top of his priority list are jobs and national security.

    In order for people to have jobs, the workforce in the 5th District must become more competitive. He believes that outcompeting others is the only long-term economic solution for the area.

    "That means more training and better education," he said.

  • Bedford to look at reverting to town status

    Forty years after voting to establish itself as a city of the second class, City of Bedford officials are now in talks with Bedford County officials aimed at returning Bedford to town status.

    Following a closed door meeting of the City/County Relations Committee Monday, Bedford Mayor Skip Tharp and Supervisor's Chairman Steve Arrington, announced that both jurisdictions were studying the proposal, at the request of the city.